|Close to the
big city but far from the crowds, the Sunshine Coast is a fisherman's
paradise. If you'd describe yourself as an avid fisherman, you really
should check out this area during sport fishing season!
Bordered by the
snow covered Coastal Mountains, this protected coastline stretches
175 Kilometres (105 Miles) along the northeast shore of the Strait
of Georgia, from Howe Sound to Desolation
Cove Harbour, Sunshine Coast
Clean sparkling Pacific waters, secluded sandy beaches, bays with
Red Cedar and Arbutus trees sprinkled along the coastline. Canada
Geese, Bald Eagles, Blue Herons and Osprey share the sky and shore.
Locals boast 14 more days of sunshine per year than HAWAII, with approximately
270 growing days per year. All of this is only two hours by car and
ferry from Downtown Vancouver. Enjoy the picturesque, 40-minute ferry
ride from Horseshoe Bay
to Langdale, and continue
with the paved coastal highway, following the coast northwards.
region offers relatively protected waters for sport fishing on Georgia
Strait, with Vancouver Island protecting the area from the open sea.
The numerous islands also offer shelter, so you are not subjected
to the high seas of the Pacific Ocean (no swells or fog).
The Sunshine Coast offers year-round guided fishing for Chinook Salmon
at great resorts at such locations as Secret
Cove, Pender Harbour and
Powell River. Feeder Chinooks
are present during the winter months, and the migratory Chinook start
showing up in late spring, with the best fishing from June to September.
Coho are best from June to September, while the Northern Coho are
available from September to October. Pink and Sockeye go by from mid-August
to Mid-September, and Chum Salmon from September thru October.
Another big attraction
to the anglers is the bottom fish fishery; large Red Snappers (Yellow
Eye), Ling Cod, Rock Cod, Flounder and Tommy Cod. Most of these species
are open year-round, with only Ling Cod being closed from October
to May. For the seafood specialists, the prawning and crabbing is
excellent year-round, all along the Sunshine Coast. Local fishing
spots include Halfmoon Bay, Buccaneer Bay, Secret Cove, Lasqueti
Island, Texada Island,
Seal Reef, Bejji Shoals, Bargain Harbour, A Frame and Quarry Bay ...
just to name a few.
Pound Ling Cod
Unique to the Secret Cove and Pender Harbour area, Mooching is the
way most of the guides and local anglers fish for these tail-walking
salmon. Most of the fishing is done from larger charter yachts from
26 ft. to 40 ft. The salmon fishing techniques are quite different,
as we don't use a Cut plug or troll for the salmon...we Mooch. This
means that we locate the schooling bait fish off reefs and kelp beds
with sounders, and anchor the vessel over the bait fish, using live
herring, the natural food of the salmon.
We go equipped with long, limber 10-ft salmon rods, a single-action
graphite fishing reel, a 3 ounce weight, about 8 ft of light leader,
and a single # 10 treble hook in the nose of the live herring. Fishing
anchored, we are able to fish from 4 to 7 rods around the vessel at
different depths, from the bottom to the surface. Live bait is available
at most marinas from Gibsons
to Pender Harbour. This offers a natural light tackle fishing method
and is a fun way to fish for these powerful salmon.
If you like to pick mussels and oysters, the beach at Roberts Creek
Provincial Park's picnic grounds is a good place to visit at low
tide. Just check for red-tide warnings and harvesting closures beforehand
at the entrance to the park.
The sandy beach at Davis Bay less than 2 miles (3 km) south
of Sechelt may yield clams, but your best bet is casting from the
pier here for salmon. So successful has the rearing program been
at nearby Chapman Creek that it is the only stream on the
Sechelt Peninsula where anglers can keep coho and chinook salmon.
It's still best to check local regulations beforehand. While the
hatchery has been experiencing good returns, fish stocks in the
Strait of Georgia and Malaspina Strait have been steadily declining
in recent times.
about 10 miles (16.5 km) north of Sechelt, has three private marinas,
which along with the marinas in Pender Harbour have some
of the best fishing charters in the Lower Mainland. As successful
lures, hot spots, and biting times vary so greatly in the convoluted
waterways around Pender Harbour and nearby Jervis Inlet, it's important
to drop by one of the marinas for the inside line, plus charts,
licences, restrictions, and limits. Fishing is what they do best
here, and patience is their long suit with visitors - all that sunshine
has a profoundly positive effect on residents' attitudes.
Lake, Sunshine Coast, British Columbia
March is one
of the few months on the fishing calendar when anglers get to stay
home and tidy their tackle boxes, or tie on a fly and try for surface-feeding
trout at Garden Bay Lake, Hotel Lake, and Mixal Lake,
which are located beside Garden Bay Road, Irvine Landings Road,
and Hotel Lake Road, respectively, west of Hwy 101. Trout Lake
is the easiest to locate, as it lies on the north side of Hwy 101,
6 miles (10 km) north of Sechelt.
Powell River may be one of the world's shortest rivers but it connects
with a string of lakes - Powell, Goat, Windsor - that characterize
much of the inland region. Fishing for cutthroat trout is possible
year-round in milder years, as waters in the area rarely experience
a freeze in any but the coldest winters. One of the best places
to begin is at any of the access points to the Powell
Forest Canoe Route.
South of Powell
River, some of the best ocean fishing is found in the Lang Creek
Estuary, about 13.5 miles (22 km) north of Saltery Bay on the
west side of Hwy 101. Beach casting is popular here for spring salmon
from mid-September through late October. Owing to the shallow water
of the creek's outlet into Malaspina Strait, use lures that don't
sink quickly. If you use a spin rod, try spoons in a variety of
colours to match the clarity of the water, with a light line. Salmon
here are in the range of 20 to 50 pounds (9 to 23 kg). Farther up
the coast near Lund you'll soon discover why a small, offshore island
is named Dinner Rock: ling cod and salmon frequent these waters.
When planning your next saltwater fishing trip, this region is arguably
one of the best light tackle salmon fishing destinations in British
Columbia. The season never ends, it just gets better at certain
Phone: (604) 435-7333